Capability vs. Disciplinary – Case Study

Following on from Annabelle’s story last week… Both sides are now aggrieved – what is the solution?

  • Investigate Annabelle’s grievance thoroughly – is her grievance genuine and based on fact or is she manipulating the situation in order to hide or detract from the issues with her own performance?  Her employer must try and give her the benefit of the doubt but at the same time bring the issues with her performance to her attention in a constructive way and develop a suitable action plan that can help dispel the grievance situation for both parties.
  •  Give Brian some support to help with his management skills and ensure that an issue like this cannot recur in the future.
  •  Set up performance reviews for Annabelle.   Establish the causes of poor performance e.g. insufficient training, poor working relationships, lack of understanding, lack of motivation, poor attitude.  Pinpoint examples of where her performance is lacking, set clear performance expectations going forward and take positive steps to rectify the situation such as training and coaching.
  • If after all that is done and Annabelle problem is identified as one of attitude rather than aptitude then  speak to her about about disciplinary rather than capability management.  Hold an informal meeting in the first instance to ensure that she understands why her behaviour has been deemed unsatisfactory and agree steps to ensure that the behaviour does not recur.
  •  If informal warnings have not produced the desired result and Annabelle’s unsatisfactory behaviour continues, the next step is to conduct a thorough investigation invoke a formal disciplinary procedure, including written warnings, before heading down the route of dismissal.